A day trip from Bangkok
Ayutthaya lies 80 km north of Bangkok and makes for the perfect day trip (or longer) from the busy city. The history of this place is spectacular. The historic city of Ayutthaya was founded in 1350 and was the second capital of the Kingdom of Siam. The city was attacked by the Burmese in 1767 and burned to the ground. The city was never restored and is now listed as a UNESCO world heritage area. The Ayutthaya historical park is an archaeological site, which contains the remains of historic statues, Buddhist temples, monasteries and palaces. Visiting Ayutthaya was a highlight of our travels to Thailand.
There are various ways to commute to Ayutthaya from Bangkok.
- Car/taxi service
- Boat – For a boat trip, you will need to book in advance. This method of transportation would also be for a longer trip, as it will take at least a day to arrive!
We chose to take the train service. This seemed to be the easiest and most cost effective. The train departs from Bangkok’s Hualamphong train station, and provides a scenic route. The journey will take anywhere from 1.5 hours to 2.5 hours depending on the service. The cost of a second class ticket (a carriage with A/C) will range from 245 – 345 Thai baht ( $7-$11 USD). The cost of a third class ticket ranges from 15-20 Thai baht ( 50 – 65 US cents). I found the train ride to and from Bangkok, to be relaxing and a nice break from the hectic city.
There are various modes of transportation to take you around the historical park.
- mini bus
We chose to rent bicycles for the day, to ride around the historical park on our own self guided tour. Renting a bike will cost you 40-50 Thai Baht ($1.30-$1.60 USD) for the day. It was easy to find places to rent bikes, pick up a map of the park and get going! We felt this was the best way to see this historic city, and we were not disappointed. The ride was easy and we were able to explore a lot of ground, cycling between the ruins and taking in the beautiful sights. If we had been there for at least another day, I think a boat journey around Ayutthaya would have been worthwhile. Overall a trip to visit this historic park is recommended, being surrounded by the city’s history was an extremely fulfilling travel experience.
Krung Thep Maha Nakhon
Bangkok, crazy, chaotic and absolutely fantastic! I have visited this wonderful city twice, and would go back for more, given the chance! This city is amazing to explore. Culturally rich, friendly locals with a great city vibe. There are many different areas of Bangkok to explore, gaining varying experiences from each. In amongst the craze there are many hidden gems. From Royalty, temples, markets, canals, shopping, street art and a vibrant nightlife, this city has something for everyone. The food is also wonderful; local, fresh and healthy.
For our first visit to the capital of Thailand, we stayed at a guest house in the Sukhumvit district of Bangkok. I loved this district, so vibrant and full of life. The nightlife was amazing, from night markets to classy bars. The shopping was fun, street markets and easy enough to get to the luxury malls to look around. Also, Sukhumvit road is the longest road in Thailand, and one of the longest boulevards in the world, pretty cool. Our stay felt authentic and we were able to hang out with the locals, which is always so fulfilling and gives you a better learning experience about that destination.
Khao San Road
For our second visit, we decided to stay at a backpackers on the famous Khao San road. Located in the northern part of Rattanakosin. Described as the backpacking hub of South East Asia. It was crowded and full of partying. This was fun to experience for a day or two, however I did prefer our first stay in the Sukhumvit district, which gave us a better feel of how people actually live in Bangkok. I would love to return to Bangkok and have the opportunity to stay in a different district. Bangkok has 50 districts, and these are split up into 169 subdistricts! So there are plenty of areas to stay in and explore.
Highlights and must-sees
- Grand palace – The official residence of the Kings of Siam. Located in the Rattanakosin area (the old city of Bangkok).
- Wat Phra Kaew – Temple of the emerald Buddha. Located in the Phra Nakhon district (the historic center of Bangkok).
- Floating market-the closet one is Taling Chan which is fairly small. If you have time and want to travel outside of the city, the top rated floating markets near Bangkok are the Damnoen Saduek floating market and the Amphawa floating market.
- Yaowarat road – Bangkok’s Chinatown, which is located in the Samphathawong district.
- Wat Po- Buddhist temple complex located in the Phra Nakhon district.
- Chao Phraya River – The “river of kings’ that flows through the city. Provides scenic views of the city and you can use boat transportation to get around to the different districts.
- Chatuchak– a weekend market and one of the largest markets in the world! A popular shopping center for the local people, is now becoming popular with tourists.
- Nightlife – Bangkok has a very vibrant nightlife. The best areas to go – Sukhumvit, Khao San road and the royal city avenue (RCA).